- Written by webmin
Although we already covered the Great Race finish yesterday (and will have more coverage in the pages of Hemmings Motor News), I’ll add a few other interesting points about the Great Race winners. Winners Howard and Doug Sharp have been trying to win for 20 years, and have been entering the Race with the 1911 Velie since 1993. I don’t think I have ever seen a car that had more RTV Red on it than theirs by the time the race ended. Many of the onlookers who viewed the car during lunch breaks and parc fermé at night thought it was steam-powered from the water running out everywhere. The band-style brake shoes were also troublesome. I don’t know how they got down off Stratton Mountain to get to the finish line, even with a good clutch.
A 1966 Dodge Charger 2+2 driven by the husband and wife team of Michael and Mary Bitterman took the Rookie Division and $5,000 prize for that division. They had signed up for last year’s Hemmings Challenge, but left before competition began due to a death in the family. The Charger held up well, but the A-727 TorqueFlite transmission was overheating as they completed the last leg of the last day and rolled into Stratton Mountain. But they refused to be outdone by the mountains of Vermont and finished in 33rd place overall.
The Two Ruts team of Corky Rutledge and son Tim Rutledge turned in a time just one minute, 12 seconds off perfect for the seven days to win the Sportsman’s division. That win was a testament to their determination as the Model A pickup broke a water pump in Hershey on Wednesday, and they stayed up through the night rebuilding the pump with parts borrowed from a local Model A enthusiast who happened to be at the museum to see what all the fuss was about.
Hershey was a long night for the No. 73 team of Bryan Dickson and Joe Correia; they also busted a radiator in their 1928 Ford Model A speedster, but found a local radiator repair shop owner who opened up for them and not only fixed the radiator, but made it better, by adding a larger core. They continued on and wound up second in the Sportsman’s division, earning a trophy and enough cash to cover their entry fee.
The second place Grand Champion team of Vernon and Gregg Cunningham donated their runner-up prize money to a national Autism Awareness charity, a very neat tribute that illustrates that the race isn’t always about the money, it is about the experience. Their 1932 Ford roadster pickup has been raced before by Gregg’s father-in-law, Corky Coker, and was built at Honest Charlie’s Speed Shop in Chattanooga. Corky and Gregg have competed in many vintage rallies, and Gregg is a previous Great Race winning navigator. He competed with his father to allow Corky to act as master of ceremonies.
Full results and many other photos are online at www.greatrace.com and look for television coverage later this year from the media crew that followed us every mile of the event.